The leading neurological disease in children
Epilepsy covers a group of diseases which manifest themselves by repeated epileptic seizures. These seizures are the clinical presentation of a sudden, excessive, transitory abnormal electrical discharge in the central nervous system. There are many clinical symptoms but the most frequent are fainting and convulsions.
Prevalence of 0.5% to 1% in Europe
In the majority of cases children require long-term drug treatment.
- Generalized seizures mainly group together generalized tonic-clonic seizures (the best known to the public and the most spectacular), massive myclonias and absences.
- Amongst partial seizures are simple partial seizures, without a change in consciousness (including epilepsy with rolandic spikes) and complex partial seizures with alteration of consciousness, either immediately or secondarily.
In children, the social impact is especially serious, being a source of isolation and loss of self-esteem. Learning difficulties and memory problems are frequent in children suffering from epilepsy. The convulsions cause attention deficit especially in school-age children suffering from absence epilepsy.
The majority of epilepsies are childhood epilepsies.